My new MacBook Pro came with a USB C charger and an associated cable.

I'm noticing this cable is a little bit thicker than other USB C charging cables I've seen.

What safety and charge carrying standards exist with USB C so I can know if a specific thinner / thicker cable is both safe and can support specific charge rates?


The fact that the cable is thick does not necessarily lead to it's ability to reliably deliver a higher wattage. A thinner cable will deliver as much power as long it's a good quality cable that adheres to USB-C standard. USB-C is a standard, but that doesn't mean that all cables you can buy adhere to it. You could buy a thick cable that is poorly made and it could be a hazard.

The thickness of the cable doesn't really matter. It's the quality of the cable and how well it adheres to USB-C standard. When buying USB-C cables, buy from a reputable brand and for more than $.99

  • A thicker cable can mean a thicker inner shield, thicker protective coating, or both. This translates to longer life and durability. – IconDaemon Jun 24 '19 at 21:59
  • Absolutely, a thicker cable usually does indicate a higher quality for the reasons you mention, but the thickness of the cable doesn't inherently mean it's better. – clbx Jun 25 '19 at 13:03

To answer my own question, according to Wikipedia, USB C cables can have different carrying capacities:

All USB-C cables must be able to carry a minimum of 3 A current (at 20 V, 60 W) but can also carry high-power 5 A current (at 20 V, 100 W).[10] All USB-C to USB-C cables must contain e-marker chips programmed to identify the cable and its current capabilities. USB Charging ports should also be clearly marked with capable power wattage.[11]

So while I can't say this with 100% certainty, the cable that comes with the MBP charger probably is a higher capacity cable, but USB-C cables have chips in them to tell the device and charger their carrying capacity.


Don’t confuse the USB-C connector with cables that are actually dual purpose. A thicker cable almost always signifies an active cable that supports both high USB PD charging and Thunderbolt 100 W power carrying capacity.

The shielding needed to allow 40 Gbps on Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4 is likely the reason Apple’s cable is beefier than others that are designed for lower power and less data of USB-C 3.x.

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